Warning Against Idolatry
10 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Co 10:1–13). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Church Family: Family Failures
We all fail from time to time. Every one of us. All our families have their issues. All of our churches have their problems. Failure is not our biggest problem though. How we handle it is.
Paul reminds the Christians that the first generation of God’s people set free from Egypt witnessed more miracles firsthand than any of us. Even so, they turned away from God and He was so displeased with that entire generation that only two of them made it into the Promised Land (and one of them, Joshua was probably young enough to almost be from the next generation). Experiencing God does not guarantee your place in the Promised Land, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you won’t fail every bit as much as the next person.
What families usually do with failure is find someone to be the scapegoat. It’s easier to pick on person to lay all the anxiety and shame upon so that we don’t have to own up to our own. The people who are those scapegoats often start believing that all the shame is their own fault and often end up in self-destructive lifestyles.
If we want our families to move out of places of failure, we have to first own up to it, and everyone has to take their own part in the responsibility. Whether you were the person who did the deed, said the words, stood back and let it all happen, failed to bring help when it was needed, or were so caught up in your own life that you didn’t even know anything happened - we are all part of the problem.
That means it takes us all to be part of the solution. The hero of the family cannot make the shame go away. The strong willed person cannot keep us from falling into temptation again. Only Jesus Himself can do those things, and for that to happen, we have to invite Jesus into our families. Paul tells us though, that if we are willing to own up to our own failure and part in the failure of our families, Jesus will lead us out and heal us from the hurt and shame so we do not have to take it ourselves and we do not need to put it on others.
Reflection: What failures do you try to avoid thinking about? What are the unspoken problems you deal with in your family? How can you invite Jesus into those situations?
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
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